Axis-Enam merger signals rush for broking presence

Axis Bank intends to create a financial services powerhouse with Enam that would offer a ‘suite’ of products to customers. Axis Bank’s current tie-up with Geojit will soon be phased out.

There's a hot race on in the online broking space and Axis Bank has just announced its grandiose plans for this business, with a clean swoop of the highly respected Enam Securities brand. Under the merger, Enam will spin-off its investment banking, institutional equities and retail equities businesses to Axis Securities, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Axis Bank.

Axis Bank already has a tie-up with brokerage firm Geojit BNP Paribas, under which the bank's customers are provided the facility of a 3-in-1 account (trading account integrated with bank and demat account) that is powered by Geojit. This platform enjoys considerable patronage in the retail segment, supported by the fact that Geojit was the first to provide online trading services in India. However, with the Axis Bank-Enam merger, Geojit will eventually cease to offer its services under the Axis brand. A senior Axis Bank official told Moneylife, "We will look to phase out the tie-up with Geojit gradually. Of course, we will give our customers the option to switch over to Enam or to stay put with Geojit. It is completely up to them to decide".

Another official from Geojit told Moneylife that this does not make much difference to the company. "Axis Bank had already taken a membership with the exchanges earlier this year. So this move was already on the cards. Anyway, it constitutes a very small portion of our total income. They will likely offer the choice to their customers. Ultimately, the customer has to make the choice."

Enam, which is credited for pioneering equity research in the country, enjoys much of its strong reputation for its corporate business. Acknowledging Enam's brand value, Shikha Sharma, managing director and CEO of Axis Bank said, "We are excited at the prospect of building on Enam's enviable reputation for bringing new companies to the market and for its deep and long-lasting relationship with corporate houses, as well as with institutional and individual investors, that have benefited from their services over the years."

When asked about the guarantee that the considerable goodwill enjoyed by Enam would get transferred to Axis Bank, Ms Sharma said, "This was a subject of a lot of conversation on the board. You can only do so much financial planning. This stuff happens only when two people want to work together. We believe that there are significant synergies, negligible overlaps and a strong cultural fit between the two organisations, which will stand us in good stead."

The race for providing online trading platforms has been on for quite some time, with various brokerage houses doing all they can to woo traders to trade more, with lots of bells and whistles. ICICIdirect launched a new platform 'TradeRacer' earlier in the year and Geojit BNP Paribas followed with its enhanced online trading platform 'FLIP' (Financial Investment Platform). Although Enam offers an online trading platform 'ENAMdirect' for retail investors, its presence in this segment is limited. However, Ms Sharma indicated yesterday that Axis Bank intends to create the online retail trading platform from scratch and that it will be called 'Axisdirect'.


Tata-owned Jaguar unveils electric concept car

Los Angeles: Jaguar Cars, owned by Tata Motors, has unveiled an electric concept car that can run 900km to a charge, with top speed of 320km per hour, reports PTI.

Christened 'C-X75', it has been created to celebrate 75 years of the company, said Ian Callum, design director, Jaguar Cars.

Mr Callum said that he was very "excited" about the car and loved its design. He said the concept car had everything a Jaguar should be. The car, which will be put on display at the Los Angles Auto Show (beginning tomorrow), has created waves over the past few days after being exhibited in some parts of this city.

Top Jaguar executives insist that the C-X75 was only a concept car and not for commercial sale. Built with lightweight aluminium panels and chassis, the C-X75 is a 4WD vehicle.

Besides being powered by 145KW electric motors at all wheels, it has a pair of micro gas-turbines that provide another 140KW of charge and extend the range to 900km.

The car was first put on public display at the Paris Auto show recently. From here it would travel to China, before it goes back to its garage at London.


India's spice export up 8.11% in Apr-Sept

New Delhi: Driven by a surge in garlic, ginger and chilli shipments from the country, India's spice export jumped over 8.11% to 2.73 lakh tonnes in the first six months of the current fiscal, reports PTI.

The total shipment of spices in the corresponding period of the last fiscal was around 2.5 3 lakh tonnes, the Spices Board said in a statement.

In terms of value, the exports of spices has increased by 15.7% to Rs3,095.35 crore in the April-September period of the current fiscal, as against Rs2,675.13 crore in the corresponding period last fiscal, the board said.

According to Spices Board data, shipments of garlic have increased more than three-fold to 14,750 tonnes in the first half of current fiscal. In value terms, garlic export achieved a five-fold increase to Rs 55.65 crore during the six months, largely due to global shortage of the commodity.

Ginger exports from the country also rose during the period by over two-fold to 4,450 tonnes in volume terms and in 98% to Rs32.47 crore in value terms.

Chilli shipments rose by 28% in the first half of the fiscal to 117,500 tonne.

According to the industry experts, the drop in Chinese chilli production this year has also aided in better realisation for Indian exporters.

Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Indonesia are main buyers of Indian chilli.

India has exported 4,500 tonnes of garlic in the same period last fiscal, the board said.


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